So, I'm back in the UK after a week in the NY tristate area and may I say that I gained quite a few pounds (weight, not currency) and racked up a few credit card bills (too bad it IS currency!). I had a fabulous time in New York City seeing all mah peeps and loving the big city; within 24 hours of landing, I had seen a drug deal, a bunch of crackheads, two bankers cruising the streets sticking out of the sunroof of a limo, and a celebrity (John Krasinski) at my favorite coffee shop La Colombe. Perfect. I ate at some amazing restaurants - old favorites like Sala and Pastis, and new exciting finds like Hundred Acres, and definitely spent some time and money in CVS, JCrew and Anthropologie.
After three whirlwind days in the big city, I spent the rest of the week with my parents in NJ and continued to eat. This year we did a "big" Thanksgiving, with twice as more people than usual, and the raucous mayhem was actually really fun. Seeing my family only once a year is hard; we're pretty close and the time goes by way too fast. But like a dutiful child, I was definitely ready to get back on the plane on Saturday night and get back to my own life: I was sick of answering the same questions about what life is like in London and dodging answering the one about if I'd ever move back. The stock answer is "I don't know."
Overall, it was great to be back in the US even if it was only for a few days. It's so weird how you slip back into old habits without even thinking about them, like walking fast down the sidewalk and speaking quickly, and also how being abroad changes you inperceptibly. Probably the weirdest thing I experienced was the shock at hearing such American accents. Living abroad, you hear them so rarely that you sort of do a double take when you catch one, but then it blows your mind when you're in the US and around them all of the time. Don't even get me started on my aunt, uncle, and cousins' Texan accents!
So now I'm back in London, greeted by lashing rain and arctic temps, and feeling as happy that I'm here as I was to be in NYC. Thanksgiving is such a great holiday for reminding oneself of all of the excellent things going on in a person's life, and this year I was grateful for everything, and everyone, I have on both sides of the Atlantic. I think next year's New Year's resolutions are going to be about how to make sure I appreciate them more.